Cuts to community safety partnership funding for Adur and Worthing

Cuts to funding for community safety partnership (CSP) work across Adur and Worthing have been described as '˜unwelcome' by councillors.

Thursday, 15th February 2018, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:23 am
Councillors Val Turner and Dave Simmons, of the Adur & Worthing Safer Communities Partnership, have raised concerns about proposed cuts to its funding.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has carried out a review of the funding formula so it is based on crime rates over the last four years and projected population.

An executive summary of the changes explains how the current system is ‘not objective or transparent’.

While she is proposing to keep the overall level of funding for Sussex at the same level of £583,202 a year for CSPs the new way of calculating need means some areas will gain while others will lose funding in 2019/20.

A fifth of total funding to all CSPs will be retained by Mrs Bourne to be allocated to pan-Sussex commissioning, which will help develop initiatives across the whole county such as tackling anti-social behaviour.

Adur and Worthing is set to be the biggest loser, as it will see its funding from police cut from £95,160 to £53,591.18, a 44 per cent reduction. After the pan-Sussex element is taken off, money directly available to the safer communities partnership will be £42,872.95, a 55 per cent drop.

Councillors Dave Simmons and Val Turner, both from the Adur & Worthing Safer Communities Partnership, said: “We received the Police and Crime Commissioner’s funding proposals for 2019/20 just over a week ago and are currently reviewing them before issuing a detailed response.

“On initial viewing, we are disappointed that the police commissioner has failed to recognise the innovation of our partnership.

“Unlike many other Community Safety Partnerships across Sussex, Adur & Worthing has been successful in bidding for and generating significant amounts of additional income to deliver bespoke services such as supporting outreach workers for women and the street community.

“This approach has achieved considerable success and been replicated in other areas of the county.

“Any reduction in funding will impact on front line services that promote safety across our communities. We sincerely hope the Police and Crime Commissioner will reconsider this unwelcome approach once we have submitted our formal response on behalf of the communities of Adur and Worthing.”

Mrs Bourne said: “We have had detailed conversations and exchanges with our CSP colleagues to understand their financial position and commitments.

“It became apparent the distribution of funds no longer matched demographic factors or overall funding that some CSPs were able to access, including their available reserves.”

“At the presentation to CSP representatives, I explained we needed a smarter allocation of the majority of the grant. It is only fair to taxpayers and also to the communities that each CSP is there to help, that funding more closely follows population and crime over the past four years (per 1000 head of population).

“In order to get some more effective and lasting impact in key areas, we are also proposing to hold back some of the funding to support pan-Sussex initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour for example, and we would be able to support centrally commissioned projects to ensure quality and better value, drawing on our recognised experience of our developing and managing commissioning frameworks.

“Our collective approach to Pan-Sussex Commissioning will be developed over the coming year, and will commence in 2019/20 when the new funding formula will also be applied.

“I assured CSPs they would have the opportunity to check the figures they supplied to the review were accurate, and I have also assured them funding for the coming year will be the same.

“I am very mindful to provide much needed continuity for community safety projects, so we will be moving to a two year funding commitment next year.”

What do you think? Email the newsdesk.